Two detained in Killings of Transgender Women in Puerto Rico

The authorities explained they’d categorized the deaths as a hate theft following remains of two women had been within a poorly burned car last week.

Every week as soon as the bodies of two transgender girls happened to be seen in a poorly burned car in Puerto Rico, law enforcement mentioned monday people got caught two people regarding the the killings and had transformed these people to the F.B.I.

The boys, Juan Carlos Pagan Bonilla, 21, and Sean Diaz de Leon, 19, are taken into custody of the children on Wednesday but I have certainly not recently been charged, as outlined by Capt. Teddy Morales, the principle of criminal examinations for that police force in Humacao, on Puerto Rico’s east coastline, where women’s stays were entirely on April 22.

This individual believed the F.B.I. had taken over possible and would be exploring Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon for conceivable civil rights violations.

“We is categorizing it a dislike theft mainly because they comprise interacting on your sufferers, and when the two revealed they certainly were transgender female, the two chose to kill all of them,” chieftain Morales believed on Thursday.

The authorities claimed these people were hoping for autopsy leads to decide how women was in fact slain. Activists bring discovered the women as Layla Pelaez, 21, and Serena Angelique Velazquez, 32, two buddies who lived in new york. Their particular keeps were receive after one also known as 911 to submit a burned vehicles under a bridge on a desolate street in Humacao, right before 5 a.m. on April 22, chief Morales claimed.

Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon happen to be socializing with Ms. Velazquez and Ms. Pelaez in the night before these were destroyed and are documented using one associated with the women’s social networking accounts, skipper Morales stated.

He or she stated the authorities had likewise tied up Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon toward the killings through security camera footage and “scientific evidence,” which he declined to detail. Mr. Pagan Bonilla owned up to taking part in the killings, and Mr. Diaz de Leon flipped themselves in, he or she believed.

Limary Cruz-Rubio, a spokeswoman the F.B.I.’s San Juan discipline office, declined to debate the arrests but believed the agency consistently collaborates with local, say and national companies.

“The agency try and can continually be considering illegal actions that could fall within federal legislation,” she claimed. “However, our policy is definitely we really do not confirm or refute the presence of investigations, to protect the reliability of every achievable investigative energy.”

Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon couldn’t promptly become attained for investigate wednesday night, it wasn’t immediately evident should they have legal professionals.

If the men are charged, it can signify a flipping point in the management of offences against L.G.B.T.Q. individuals in Puerto Rico, which contains a disturbing reputation for brutality against homosexual and transgender people, activists stated.

Ms. Velazquez and Ms. Pelaez comprise the next and last transgender consumers killed in Puerto Rico over the last 60 days, activists believed. They were likewise considered to be the 7th and 8th transgender or gender-nonconforming people to currently killed across the nation in 2012, as per the person Rights plan.

Before 15 several months, 10 L.G.B.T.Q. men and women have become killed in Puerto Rico, reported by Pedro Julio Serrano, a gay proper activist. Almost three for the fatalities stays unsolved, he or she claimed.

“These busts include one step during the suitable way, but these murders ought to be prosecuted as detest criminal activities,” Mr. Serrano stated. “We need government entities to finish the examinations in some other several murders of L.G.B.T.Q. consumers to the island and provide justice for all those ones.”

Ms. Velazquez lived in Queens and Ms. Pelaez for the Bronx. Both had lately journeyed to Puerto Rico, as well as were planning to travel into New York eventually this thirty day period, in accordance with family unit members and activists.

Luz Melendez, 29, Ms. Pelaez’s relative, claimed Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon happened to be apprehended after a neighborhood wireless facility published shots of those on myspace and individuals did start to label the section to spot them.

“We are actually extremely appreciative with the operate about the authorities and area invest to locate that do this,” she said on saturday.

She believed the images originated from two films that Ms. Pelaez experienced uploaded on her behalf Snapchat and Facebook profile, which demonstrated her and Ms. Velazquez mingling with Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon.

“we bet the movies, it seemed like they were hanging out together as close friends,” she stated. “It appeared normal. There’s songs actively playing into the environment. People looked wonderful.”

She stated the police had informed her kids only that the boys had been in federal guardianship.

The killings come a month after Yampi Mendez Arocho, a 19-year-old transgender guy, lost his life in Moca, P.R., as per the individual liberties plan.

In February, Alexa Negron Luciano, a well-known shape on Puerto Rico social networking who had been transgender and homeless, was shot to dying after a McDonald’s consumer reported that Ms. Negron got spied on the within the women’s space.

Ms. Negron’s closing memories — framed in headlights of a motorcar amid a cackle of joy — happened to be submitted on social networks, an undeniable fact that activists mentioned underscored the impunity homophobic enemies experience once spending this crimes.

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